Disneyland News — Week of December 15, 2018 (with Star Wars update)

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A Star Wars update, the Festival of Holidays at California Adventure continues, and the whole resort is immersed in holiday cheer! Read on to find out about this and more in this week’s Disneyland news.

Special Events and Notes

So, it’s no secret that Disney has been working on building Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon, and this week we got to see it, as Disney gave us a peek behind the construction walls at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It looks simply amazing:

Seeing this gets us excited for the opening in 2019, and if the reaction of the internet is any indication, we’re not alone on this. We’ll continue to keep you updated as new information is released!

We’re still in the heart of the holiday season at Disneyland, and you’ll find seasonal decor, character costumes, and treats celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and other winter holidays. Make sure you check out our photo tour of the resort, and Guy’s recent write up of the best seasonal treats to be found throughout!

There are a couple of special holiday events at Disney’s California Adventure. Disney’s Festival of Holidays includes the Festive Foods Marketplace, a collection of kiosks serving small bites of all manner of seasonal food and drink. You can check out some edible highlights here.  Additionally, Disney’s ¡Viva Navidad! is a cultural holiday celebration leading up to Three Kings’ Day that includes authentic music, dance, decor, and food. Passholders, make sure you stop by the AP Corner for special freebies and opportunities as well!

Disney’s parades and evening shows also get a holiday overhaul, with A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… in Holiday Magic Fireworks taking place regularly throughout the season. Several attractions also get a seasonal overlay for the holidays.  This year, in addition to perennial favorites like Haunted Mansion Holiday and it’s a small world Holiday, a couple of Radiator Springs attractions get a transformation. You’ll find Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl along with the wonderful holiday decor in Cars Land.

Ralph Brennan’s at Downtown Disney continues its gingerbread house building workshop, which includes a lunch buffet. This week’s workshops are on December 15 and 16, with the buffet starting at 11:00 a.m., and you can get tickets (and more details) here.

The reboot of Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, is fast approaching (it starts on December 19), and you can see a special exhibition of the Art of Mary Poppins at Disneyland. It’s in the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Finally, while no opening date has been announced as this goes to press, Disney did recently announce the impending opening of The Tropical Hideaway in Adventureland in Disneyland Park. Right near the Jungle Cruise waterfront (you can exit the Enchanted Tiki Room directly into it), it looks fantastic and should be a great place to grab a bite and a breather when it opens. Keep your eyes open for it, and let us know what you think when you get a chance to try it!


Crowds are largely middle of the road pretty much the whole week, ranging from level 5 to level 8. The lowest crowds by far are on Friday, when we’re predicting level 3 crowds.

Full details, including park-by-park crowd levels, are available on our Crowd Calendar.


It should be a really nice week in Anaheim. Temperatures will be in the 70s most days, and only a scant chance of rain on Monday, but make sure you bring a light coat if you’ll be there after sundown when the temperature drops.

As always, it’s wise to double check the weather as the day of your visit approaches. Check out the most up-to-date forecast here.


Disney has a full slate of shows all week as we get closer to Christmas. Detailed show schedules, including smaller diversions like The Disneyland Band can be found here.

Show Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Fantasmic! 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Christmas Fantasy Parade 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Holiday Magic Fireworks 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


Admission and Hours

There are significant Passholder blockouts this week; Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out every day this week (and the rest of the year), Southern California Passholders are blocked out on Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, and Friday, and Deluxe Passholders are blocked out on Saturday, Sunday, and Friday. All other passes are honored every day this week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are Peak Price ($135/$127) all week.

Regular park hours (excluding Extra Magic Hours/Magic Mornings) are as follows this week:

Sat Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri
Disneyland 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12
California Adventure 8-10 8-10 8-10 8-10 8-10 8-10 8-10

As per usual, the parks will open one hour early for eligible guests at Disneyland Park Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and at Disney California Adventure Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Resort guests can take advantage of these hours every day of their stay for Extra Magic Hours, while guests eligible for Magic Mornings can use that benefit one day at Disneyland Park only. Full park hours can be found by clicking on each date in the Crowd Calendar.


Most everything is running at Disneyland! With the exception of World of Color at California Adventure, which remains offline until further notice with technical issues related to the redo, everything else that would normally be operating is operating. As always, be aware that refurbishments can pop up unexpectedly, so check out our refurbishments page to make sure your favorite ride is still running, and for details on exactly what will be down and for how long.

That should do it for this week’s news. Check back next week and every week to find out what’s coming down the pike. Got questions? Aware of anything else that prospective guests should know about? Let us know in the comments.

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Jamie Rosemergy

When not planning for or traveling to Walt Disney World with his beautiful wife and impossibly adorable daughter, James practices law in St. Louis. He also really likes cheese -- and loathes kale. He can be found on twitter at @jrtoastyman.

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